Empower our people with quality literature in order to achieve peace

Bishop emeritus and former Nobel Peace Prize committee member Gunnar Stålsett once said that literature is the lung by which a nation breathes. Freedom of expression is the oxygen. Peace is the heart of people’s dreams. Hope is the energy of life.
Literature plays an important role in human rights and also contributes to democratization and the peace-making process.
It is necessary for such good creative literature to emerge in our country.
We believe that a high literary standard can help us put our country on the road to peace and development.
Good literature has the capacity to give the heart hope, which is required for peace for our people. This is because a good story by one human being can move another human being simply through his words. And in the moment when a person is confronted with a choice, the character and reader are empowered.
However, to encourage imagination and creativity which are essential for the emergence of good literature, we need freedom of the press based on fundamental principles such as the freedom to believe without harming any other person, freedom to think, and freedom of expression.
Literature can contribute to peace. Peace is not just possible and not just essential: it is a choice that we have the power to make. But the question is, do we believe ourselves when we speak of peace, write about peace, read stories to our children about peace? Even in the face of our bewildering, overwhelming, sometimes disheartening adulthood, do we still believe?
With the press freedom which we have begun to enjoy recently, we should work for the development and peace of our country through our works of good literature.
Literature prepares us to choose peace when it prepares us to understand and accept ourselves, and also to understand and accept others.
Let us give our people and our children hope with stories that allow them to understand the differences that separate us, and to experience the humanity that connects us.
Let us impart to our people the knowledge that convinces them, over and over again through many
stories, that peace is important, possible and worth striving for. At a time when internal peace is so urgently needed in our country, let us all join hands and work for a durable and lasting peace in the land we all love and cherish.

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